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JFK - The Movie


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66 replies to this topic

#1 of 67 Brad_W

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Posted October 10 2001 - 03:47 PM

I'm putting on my flame-retardant suit...

It has been officially 10 years now since the release of Oliver Stone's JFK. Never has a movie inspired such controversy: to a point where, after a viewing on Capitol Hill, the government actually created a team to de-classify some documents regarding the assasination of JFK. I have watched this movie three times in the past week and finally bought the 2-disc set on DVD and will watch it one more time with the Stone's commentary. John Williams' music is awe-inspiring throughout the film and I still get shivers everytime I hear the snare rolls and soft horns. I say that I put on my flame-retardant suit because I know I'll probably get flamed for loving such a blatant dramatic work. That's fine, but I still adore this movie. Maybe my over-active paranoia feeds hungerly with this type of film, but hey, I gotta love it. Plus, I love Kevin "bland" Costner's extremly well-done monologue at the end. I typically can't stand him as an actor, but I give him great credit to do this and show emotion all while trying to remember his lines, pacing, hand gestures, and the like. I bring this thread up to hear everyone else's opinions, good or bad. I take no offense, I love the movie regardless.

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#2 of 67 Mitty

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Posted October 10 2001 - 03:58 PM

I don't think you'll get flamed for loving this movie.

As history, it's farcical, but as drama and filmmaking it's a masterwork. Stone threw everything but the kitchen sink into this film and, for my money, it's his best work. That he could throw so much exposition at an audience and still make it utterly compelling is extraordinary.

A lot of people hate this movie as they fret about its effect on the impressionable who'll take it as gospel truth. Not me; I'm more than a little tired of the lengths we feel the need to go to protect the ignorant from themselves.

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#3 of 67 andreasingo

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Posted October 10 2001 - 11:39 PM

JFK is one of my favourite movies. I don't understand why everyone seems to pick at Kevin Kostner. In my eyes he's a great actor as long as he doesn't sleepwalk through his roles and actually *tries* to act. I also agree JFK is Oliver Stones best work. An incredibly emotionally loaded film that actually works. 4/4.
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#4 of 67 TheoGB

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Posted October 11 2001 - 12:04 AM

'As history, it's farcical...' seems a little harsh. Yeah, it's a drama but it's based on facts. Kennedy was killed by right-wing extremists with the backing of the government.

I think this the only one of Stone's work I can watch again. Platoon and Born on the 4th of July were both excellent but far too harsh for me to relish watching again. I've not really attempted to see any of his other stuff due to his depressing nature.

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#5 of 67 tyler O

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Posted October 11 2001 - 03:56 AM

Absolutely a beautiful movie that took as much as possible and shoved it down your throat. Liberties were taken, but then again, honestly I have no use for what The Warren Comission said, I find that to be more fanciful almost than what is portrayed in the movie. Posted Image Excellent use of media and really hammers in the point beautifully. I prefer Natural Born Killers if I must pick a Stone but... JFK definitely ranks up there.

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#6 of 67 JonZ

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Posted October 11 2001 - 04:22 AM

I think its brilliant and a masterpiece

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#7 of 67 Rich Malloy

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Posted October 11 2001 - 04:49 AM

Except for the strange and ugly depiction of gays (use of "otherness" to express the sinister and menacing?), it works fairly well as comedy (dark comedy, at least). And though I'm not generally a fan of Stone's hyperactive and hamfisted montage style, here it compliments the subject matter. That is, the very structure of the film (the hyperactive editing, the use of varied film stocks, the blurring of the line between archival and shot footage) allows an interesting peek into the mental contortions and paranoia of the fanatical true-believer.

And while I certainly wouldn't give it the 4 stars that Ebert did, I do agree with the thrust of his review:

Quote:
I don't have the slightest idea whether Oliver Stone knows who killed President John F. Kennedy. I have no opinion on the factual accuracy of his 1991 film ''JFK.'' I don't think that's the point. This is not a film about the facts of the assassination, but about the feelings. ''JFK'' accurately reflects our national state of mind since Nov. 22, 1963. We feel the whole truth has not been told, that more than one shooter was involved, that somehow maybe the CIA, the FBI, Castro, the anti-Castro Cubans, the Mafia or the Russians, or all of the above, were involved. We don't know how. That's just how we feel.

Shortly after the film was released, I ran into Walter Cronkite and received a tongue-lashing, aimed at myself and my colleagues who had praised ''JFK.'' There was not, he said, a shred of truth in it. It was a mishmash of fabrications and paranoid fantasies. It did not reflect the most elementary principles of good journalism. We should all be ashamed of ourselves.

I have no doubt Cronkite was correct, from his point of view. But I am a film critic and my assignment is different than his. He wants facts. I want moods, tones, fears, imaginings, whims, speculations, nightmares. As a general principle, I believe films are the wrong medium for fact.

Given that standard, ''JFK'' is a masterpiece. It's like a collage of all the books and articles, documentaries and TV shows, scholarly debates and conspiracy theories since 1963. * * * * [It] is a brilliant reflection of our unease and paranoia, our restless dissatisfaction. On that level, it is completely factual.

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#8 of 67 Brad_W

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Posted October 11 2001 - 05:03 AM

Quote:
Except for the strange and ugly depiction of gays

Please keep in mind that the time period in which this movie took place had almost no tolerance for gays or blacks for that matter. The ugly depiction was of time frame, if you are referring to the "dressing up" sequences: I can't explain that other than it was in Louisianna during the time of Mardi Gras.

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#9 of 67 TheoGB

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Posted October 11 2001 - 05:09 AM

Surely the dressing up sequences are simply a reflection of the tale being told at that time. Stone obviously chooses to accept the tale and shows it. Whether or not it's false isn't an issue, if you see what I mean.

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#10 of 67 Rich Malloy

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Posted October 11 2001 - 07:19 AM

I haven't the slightest idea what you guys are getting at with this "as the tale was told in that time" stuff - the tale was told in 1991, right? I don't quite follow your point.

But I certainly don't want to get caught up in a little aside when there's so much to criticize in this film. Maybe you guys aren't really aware of the whole debate over "Oliver Stone's Kennedy-killing homosexual cabal"? Without rehashing all that, it was criticized here and there until David Ehrenstein's broadside in The Advocate which was fairly decisive. Stone replied to the effect that he may have taken a bit of dramatic license, but that he'd based all that stuff about "Clay's cabal" from details he'd gleaned from official FBI files. Of course, no one doubts that this is precisely the kind of information that J. Edgar Hoover would have had in Shaw's file (ironic, ain't it?), but I think Stone was being more than a bit disingenuous by relying on the same "official FBI documents" that he otherwise goes so far to discredit in the film... especially when such small (and arguably quite irrelevant) details about Shaw's private life are used as a jumping-off point for a rather extreme degree of "dramatic license" leading to a whole host of homo-conspirators.

But it's a rather small point, I think, next to Stone's completely distorted portrait of Jim Garrison.
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#11 of 67 Rich Malloy

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Posted October 11 2001 - 07:20 AM

[whoops - didn't mean to post all that twice]

[Edited last by Al Brown on October 11, 2001 at 02:21 PM]
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#12 of 67 Justin Doring

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Posted October 11 2001 - 06:03 PM

JFK is a masterpiece and shouldn't be confused with a history lesson.

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#13 of 67 Brook K

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Posted October 11 2001 - 07:50 PM

But remember Al, Stone was taking much of his info from Garrison's autobiographical, On The Trail Of The Assassins, not trying to present an objective portrait of Garrison as a historical figure.

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#14 of 67 TheoGB

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Posted October 11 2001 - 07:58 PM

Yeah, that's kind of what I was thinking. Stone is not the main writer of the work.

What intrigues me is the people posting on this thread claiming it's 'not a history lesson' etc. Do you find nothing suspicious in the assumption that LHO killed Kennedy then?

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#15 of 67 Rich Malloy

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Posted October 12 2001 - 01:38 AM

Quote:
Do you find nothing suspicious in the assumption that LHO killed Kennedy then?

Of course we do. It was clearly the work of a group of crazed homosexuals and cross-dressers backed by J. Edgar Hoover, Castro, the Mafia, and the men's room attendant at the Pentagon. And Earl Warren. And don't forget Lyndon Johnson. And possibly a radical wing of the Boy Scouts.

This is all self-evident.
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#16 of 67 tyler O

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Posted October 12 2001 - 03:01 AM

Quote:
quote:
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Do you find nothing suspicious in the assumption that LHO killed Kennedy then?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Of course we do. It was clearly the work of a group of crazed homosexuals and cross-dressers backed by J. Edgar Hoover, Castro, the Mafia, and the men's room attendant at the Pentagon. And Earl Warren. And don't forget Lyndon Johnson. And possibly a radical wing of the Boy Scouts.

Al - Use spoilers next time. Posted Image That was absolutely hilariously beautiful.

As I said earlier, I don't think one man did it, but who really knows? If the conspirators were in any way truly competent, all people who really knew would be dead shortly after. All we have to play with is misinformation from both sides. Gotta love it. I think it is precisely this indecision and inability to ever know the truth that makes the work all the more powerful. It makes it all the more viable and utterly ridiculous. That's what I love about great media, indecision and leaving it up to the viewer to decide. Maybe Garrison was a raging homophobe and Shaw/Bertram was just a normal, great guy. Who knows? We know as much about that as we do who really killed JFK. It's all part of the beauty of the piece.

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#17 of 67 Eric Bass

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Posted October 12 2001 - 03:27 AM

"I'm more than a little tired of the lengths we feel the need to go to protect the ignorant from themselves."

Amen


#18 of 67 TheoGB

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Posted October 12 2001 - 03:49 AM

Posted Image
It's like you guys watched a different movie. Well I never saw the homosexual thing as that important. They were homosexuals (according to the movie) but that wasn't my immediate feeling of the point. It seemed to be suggesting how people far above these were responsible for what happened.

Anyhow, I was just checking. It would worry me if you *did* believe it was one superhuman shooter from a window. Posted Image

#19 of 67 Christina_DQ

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Posted October 12 2001 - 04:50 AM

Whats with the homosexual conspiracy?

From what i saw in the movie,only a couple of the guys where gay. Well maybe i should give it another watch sometime & see, i could be wrong & just didn't notice it?

As for me. I always thought it was a great,really powerful movie & even though it may not be completely factual,it does what it sets out to do. Make you think,ask questions ect!!

I'm bi btw & as for some people complaining that it's making gays look evil ect. Only a close minded,ignorant jerk who lives in there own world,would be stupid enough to beleive that they all must be like "that",because they saw it in a movie!


Though sadly some people are that dumb Posted Image



#20 of 67 Brad_W

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Posted October 12 2001 - 07:09 AM

easy there cowboys. I don't want this thread to be closed because everyone wants to call people names. I really enjoyed the film and am interested in whether you liked it or not and why. The homosexual over-tones that are apparent in part of the movie are small and need not be debated here. Thank you for understanding.

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